The path of the spiritual adept progressing toward mastery is one that requires a steadfast commitment toward balance and integration. In life we develop a variety of skills and master the characteristics of archetypes and polarities so that we can reunite them in ourselves to recover our wholeness.
A quality that is seen as desirable can be taken to a polarized extreme and become unhealthy and dysfunctional. A quality that is perceived as negative or pathological can be recognized as being the polarized extreme of something that is actually beneficial when applied in balance and moderation. Even some of the most valuable and empowering spiritual teachings can be taken to an extreme or out of context and lead to unhealthy patterns.
We experience life as human beings with a conscious and “unconscious” or “subconscious” mind. We have a masculine and feminine aspect within ourselves; we have a rational, logical side as well as an intuitive, emotional side. When we develop just one side or polarity and neglect the other we foster imbalances in our lives. The modern Western society has pushed people toward division rather than integration of these aspects of ourselves. We are taught to be logical and linear in thinking and neglect our intuition in some contexts and to go with our feelings and dismiss critical thinking in other contexts.
It is important to learn to develop healthy boundaries and to process our feelings and reflect upon our beliefs about what is “true.” There is much here for us to learn about ourselves. While we embrace transcendent truths about spiritual existence and creation, we can also learn to master ourselves and address the challenges of material existence in more balanced ways. Integrating the dualistic perspective with the non-dualistic perspective brings wholeness to our experience.
Excerpts from The Challenge of Spiritual Balance on Earth by Jed Shlackman, M.S. Ed., LMHC